Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Johnny O'Keefe and the Dee Jays - Rockin'dotdotdot
artworkLike a crossbreed of Fabian Forte, Screamin' Lord Sutch, the Big Bopper, and Jerry Lee Lewis, Australia's Johnny O'Keefe rocked hard from the late fifties through the early sixties. High energy honest rock 'n' roll with some inspired lyrics. His backing band the Dee Jays also recorded some instrumentals, which are reviewed here. The Dee Jays were formed in 1957 by Johnny O'Keefe, arguably the big kahuna of Australian rock 'n' roll. Lou Casche - guitar, Bobby Johnson - guitar, Eddie Norman - guitar, and Johnny Purser - drums. It's all rock 'n' roll (not surf), but some of the tacks on this double CD set are just more fun than you can shake off.
Picks: Twistin' Drums, Off Shore, Big Daddy, Topsy (Parts 1 and 2), Straight Flush, Hoots Mon, California Sun

Track by Track Review


Twistin' Drums dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Great tribal drums and gutty low-E guitar grunt out a menacing riff before the horns come in. "Twistin' Drums" is not melodic, but is rather in the mold of many of Sandy Nelson's single, with a power riff and lots of tuff drums. Nice track.

Off Shore dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Off Shore" is a soft sax romancer in the fifties water front mold, with strings and the whole shebang. Pretty in its own way, but unremarkable.

Big Daddy dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Big Daddy" is a classic fifties instro, with a chumpy beat, a catchy little choppy riff, and coy whistle gimmick. Kinda cool in a teenage fifties kinda way.

Topsy (Parts 1 and 2) dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Tribal and primitive ambient sound in the technician mold, yet Cozy Cole's "Topsy" is a solid and sensual vehicle for the Dee Jays. Great drums, dramatic horns and guitar, and lots of rockin' energy. It's a far cry from the power and coolness of the original, but it sure as hell rocks!

Straight Flush dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Frantics' "Straight Flush" is pretty cool in this live session. Honkin' sax, riffin' rhythm guitar, walking upright bass, and tuff drums. This is rock 'n' roll instrumental the way it was.

Hoots Mon dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Another live set, "Hoots Mon" is a rockin' bit of silliness with a catchy melody line delivered by twin horns. Lots of fun, and the crowd simply loves it! It's a curious mix of almost Mariachi and Oz rock.

California Sun dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a tribal instro cover of the Rivieras' "California Sun" with twin horns carrying the melody while the guitar carries off the main riff over pumpin' bass and rockin' drums. It's a long ways from California, but highly spirited and too much fun!